Compressing

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compressionhell.jpg
What a boring Sunday. I'd hoped to be outside today, but...

I'm inside at my computer, compressing videos. Such is the glamorous life of a media tinker.

Really, it's my own fault. I'm doing some subtitling work for an insurance company and the MPEG-1 files they gave me to work with have to be recompressed. This causes a loss of quality, similar to making a photocopy of a photocopy. The details start to blur and it's not as crisp and perfect as the original.

The client is aware of this; I did a test clip before I agreed to take on the job. In fact, I encouraged them to go back to the original post-production company. But maybe they wanted someone local or maybe I'm just very economical. I got the job.

But even though they think the test clip quality is OK, I'm not happy with it. So I spent Friday afternoon and most of yesterday tweaking and testing the encoding settings in Cleaner.

I even upgraded to Cleaner 6 to get access to 2-pass variable bit rate encoding. But the program is pretty buggy and I've had mixed results. Only 70% of the clips processed properly when I batched them overnight.

So I am fighting with Cleaner to get the last few done today. One sailed through with no errors. The other two...fail, fail. I've dropped back to Cleaner 5 to see if I can get them to encode without errors.

And that's why I look so bored. Encoding is a lot of waiting and hoping. The program's just signalled its completion with a cheery chime, so I'm off to see how it did. With fingers crossed...

[Update: 19:03. The last two clips are done and the CD is burning now. I'm ready to hand this off to the client tomorrow on schedule. Whew.]

3 Comments

Sometimes such a boring time is needed, right?
I'm not young so boring time is my rest. New week starts! You must be busy! Have a good week!

Did you ask for extra funds to cover the "boredom factor"? BTW is this who I think it is?

You just need to offload some of your data processing tasks like your customer database management to more suitable hardware.

An IBM S/390 mainframe, for example, now available at a low low price:

http://www.zdnet.co.jp/news/0305/16/njbt_10.html

A bit bulky, perhaps, but guaranteed to impress your clients :-) I'm sure Tod will de delighted to help you set it up at your place...

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